Conor McGregor defeated by Dustin Poirier in round two TKO at UFC 257

Conor McGregor hobbles to his press conference on CRUTCHES after being brutally knocked out by Dustin Poirier in the second round at UFC 257 as the American gains sweet revenge on old rival

  • Dustin Poirier KO’d Conor McGregor to pour cold water on his UFC return
  • The former two-weight champion returned to the octagon after a year out
  • However, it was Poirier who stole the show with a superb knockout in the 2nd 
  • McGregor’s defeat is a huge setback to his hopes to regain the lightweight title

Dustin Poirier vowed to shock the world and he did just that as the Diamond poured cold water on Conor McGregor’s UFC comeback with a vicious second round knockout victory.

McGregor, 32, made his highly-anticipated return after a year out of the action to take on Poirier for a second time, having defeated the Louisiana native at UFC 178 in 2014. 

The Irishman pledged to secure a first round knockout, as he had achieved seven years ago, but this time he promised to finish the former interim lightweight champion inside 60 seconds.

Dustin Poirier has knocked out Conor McGregor to send a shock through the lightweight ranks

The Diamond vowed to upset the odds in his highly-anticipated rematch with the Irishman

And having survived McGregor’s typical fast start, Poirier got in his groove and found his range

However, Poirier, 32, rode the expected storm in the first round, landing an early takedown before exchanging rapid exchanges against the fence as the pair repeatedly switched positions. 

The American consistently attacked McGregor’s lead right leg, which worsened as the opening five minutes unfolded.

Having established his range, Poirier slipped McGregor’s fluent punches and upped the tempo, taking centre of the ring and unleashing a flurry of strikes that the Notorious simply had no answer for. 

Poirier snapped the Irishman’s head back with a beautiful uppercut, sending McGregor sprawling before following up with a strong right hook that left the former two-weight world champion in a daze.

Poirier taunts the Irishman after picking his shots towards the end of the first round

The American upped the tempo in the second and blitzed McGregor with a flurry of strikes

The Notorious, 32, had no answer for Poirier’s volume of strikes and the fight was waved off

Only seconds later did referee Herb Dean step into wave off the contest and hand the Diamond a monumental victory to shake up the lightweight division. 

Poirier’s win moves him into prime position to fight for UFC gold once more, having lost to the all-conquering Khabib Nurmagomedov back in September 2019.

‘I’m happy man but I’m not surprised, I put in the work,’ he told Jon Anik in his post-fight interview. 

‘First off I gotta say Conor has taken this result very professionally. [We are] one and one, maybe we have to do it again. I’m happy with the place where I’m at. The win is great, but I’m fighting for bigger things back home with my good fight foundation. I love my wife, I love my city and I love my foundation.

The former interim champion talks with Dana White following his sensational victory

A dejected McGregor watches on after failing to mark his UFC return with a victory

Poirier consoles the former two-weight world champion following his victory on Saturday

‘The goal was to be technical and pick my shots, to not brawl at all. I can box very technically but I have a tendency of going crazy and getting in trouble. Max Holloway thinks he is the best boxer but I have beat the kid twice. Nothing against the kid.

‘We’ll see [about a future title shot], I felt like this was a title fight. I am the champion.’

McGregor’s defeat represents a huge setback to his plans to regain his lightweight title. The Irishman was hoping a victory over Poirier would set up a rematch with arch rival Nurmagomedov, having lost to the Dagestani in October 2018. 

Saturday’s loss, which is McGregor’s first defeat by knockout, leaves questions over his championship prospects. The Irishman was filmed walking on crutches after the fight, such was the damage inflicted by Poirier.

‘It’s heartbreaking, it’s hard to take, highest highs and the lowest lows,’ he said in the post-fight press conference. ‘My leg is completely dead – even though I felt like I was checking them I was badly compromised. It is like an American football in my suit at the minute.

‘Dustin had a hell of a fight. I felt alright in the second round, felt better than him in the clinch but too little too late – my leg was compromised and I didn’t adjust. 

‘Fair play to Dustin, I am happy for him. I am happy to compete in these challenging times. I don’t know where I am at the minute. He fought a hell of a fight but what can you do, I am happy for him.’ 

The Irishman exits the Etihad Arena after suffering a second-round defeat to the Diamond

Saturday’s defeat raises questions over where McGregor goes next as a UFC fighter

Meanwhile, Dana White cast doubt over McGregor’s future after the UFC supremo questioned whether the former two-weight champion had the ‘hunger’ to compete anymore. 

White compared McGregor to Rocky Balbao in Rocky III, questioning the Notorious’ motivation. 

‘Look, there is two ways this goes – hungrier or I’m done, he’s got the money,’ he said in the post-fight press conference.

‘This is like Rocky III, when you get offered a 300 foot yacht, it is tough to be a savage when he is living like he is. 

UFC supremo Dana White questioned McGregor’s ‘hunger’ to continue fighting at the top level

‘When he was a young kid he was hungry, now he has got everything he ever wanted so I don’t know, it goes this way or that way.’

White also admitted he has low expectations of Khabib Nurmagomedov returning to the octagon after Saturday’s showing, revealing that the Dagestani told him he was ‘so many levels above’ his competition. 

‘I did talk to Khabib [after the fight],’ White revealed. ‘He said to me “Dana be honest with yourself, I’m so many levels above these guys, I’d beat these guys.”

‘It doesn’t sound very positive so we’ll see. I’ve told you guys before he won’t hold the division up. He’s basically retired…’  

Nurmagomedov took to Twitter to taunt his former rival, saying: ‘This is what happened, when you change your team, leave the sparring partners who made you a champion and sparring with little kids, far away from reality.’ 

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That low calf kick was very good, my leg was dead and i wasn’t as comfortable as i wanted to be. Dustin is some fighter. I have to dust it off and come back and that is what i will do. I need activity guys come on, you don’t get away with being inactive in this business. I’ll take my licks, i am gutted man i put in so much work. It’s a tough one to swallow. I would have liked to represent my team better but i’m gonna chill with my kids and that is it. 

‘I’m happy man but I’m not surprised I put in the work. First off i gotta say Conor has taken this result very professionally. 1 and 1, maybe we have to do it again. I’m happy with the place where I’m at. The win is great, but I’m fighting for bigger things back home with my good fight foundation. I love my wife, i love my city and i love my foundation.

The goal was to be technical and pick my shots. to not brawl at all. I can box very technically but i have a tendency of going crazy and getting in trouble. Max Holloway thinks he is the best boxer but i have beat the kid twice. Nothing against the kid. 

We’ll see, i felt like this was a title fight. I am the champion.

Poirier destabilises McGregor with a low calf kick but McGregor responds with a clean right hand that looked to shake the American slightly. McGregor’s timing is good right now, countering well as Poirier comes in. 

But his lead leg already looks badly busted up, with it visibly reddening. McGregor backs Poirier up against the fence but he fights his way away from the cage and is finding his range. 

Oh my goodness! Poirier has knocked out Conor McGregor! The Diamond ups the tempo and blitzes the Irishman with a barrage of punches that floors the Notorious and Herb Dean steps in to wave off the contest.

McGregor, bloodied from the nose, looks dazed and confused right now!

We are under way and McGregor immediately takes the centre of the octagon and puts Poirier on his heels, firing his pistol-like left hand but unable to land. 

Poirier rides the early pace and lands a big takedown on the Irishman, he wasn’t expecting that. McGregor has his back against the fence as he looks to get up and he is back to his feet and reverses Poirier against the fence.

Now then, McGregor lands a couple of shoulder strikes – we saw how effective those were against Donald Cerrone last year. But Poirier is unfazed and has McGregor backed up against the cage now as the Irishman buries a knee into Poirier’s midriff. 

The Diamond is still looking to engineer a takedown but McGregor is stopping him in his tracks and switches position again. The pair are talking to each other as Poirier ties up McGregor’s left arm up and the Irishman backs away from the clinch and the pair return to the centre of the octagon.

McGregor finds a home with a straight left and a lead right hook, but Poirier fires back with a hook of his own before landing a couple of calf kicks. McGregor attempts a spinning hook kick which just glances Poirier as the klaxon sounds, an excellent opening round. 

McGregor and Poirier have both made their octagon walks and we are moments away from tonight’s main event from getting under way on Fight Island.

The action begins and Chandler puts Hooker on his heels right away, taking the centre of the octagon. 

The Kiwi needs to use his reach advantage to fend off any takedown attempts from the wrestling expert as he throws a couple of calf kicks to stall the American. 

Chandler stalks his taller opponent and has success with a body shot and a couple of strikes up top. 

And Chandler floors Hooker with a huge right hook that sends the Kiwi sprawling! Grounded, Chandler rains a plethora of punches and Marc Goddard steps into stop the fight.

Chandler is in ecstasy as he backflips off the octagon fence and drapes an American flag over his shoulders. For Hooker, he was so worried about the takedown he did not see the right hand coming.

Dan Hooker and Michael Chandler are in the octagon as Bruce Buffer introduces the two men involved in tonight’s co-main event.

Which lightweight will grasp this golden opportunity to launch themselves among the top contenders?

Would it be Conor McGregor if he didn’t make a lavish arrival? 

The lightweight scene has been shaken up massively since Nurmagomedov’s retirement, with a handful of contenders vying for the Dagestani’s throne.

McGregor and Poirier are the main attraction tonight, but Chandler and Hooker have a golden opportunity to steal the limelight. 

We are just one fight away from the main event on Fight Island, and it’s an intriguing match up at lightweight with a UFC newbie making his first appearance.

Dan Hooker takes on Michael Chandler next!

And Joanne Calderwood takes the win, with the judges scoring it 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 in a big win for the Scot.

Here is that moment from earlier when Muradov asked UFC chief White to follow him back on Instagram!

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Eye gets back on what landed her so much success in the first as she pins Calderwood against the fence. 

But she’s struggling to take the Scot down as he attempts the double leg but JoJo uses the fence to her advantage to fend off the American. 

The referee separates the pair with Eye unable to do meaningful work against the fence as Calderwood lands a big leg kick. The Scot is getting the better of the clinches and is landing consistently on the break.

She lands a beautiful kick to the head which leads to a desperate takedown attempt from Eye but Calderwood brushes it off with ease.

Calderwood attempts another spinning attack but misses and Eye is unable to punish her as she did in the second and now the Scot lands a big kick that leaves blood rushing from the American’s left eye. 

The klaxon sounds and we go to the judges’ scorecards.

This is a fun fight. Calderwood lets go with a big right hand and follows up with a front kick that lands. Another right hand connects and trips Eye to the mat, but opts not to enter the American’s guard, given her success on the feet.

Eye responds with a right hand to the body followed by a left book up top but Calderwood’s knees are causing the American serious problems, landing once in the clinch and then again on the break. 

JoJo’s hands have lowered and she is oozing confidence, with Eye unable to get the Scot up against the fence as she had done in the first. 

Calderwood attempts a spinning elbow but misses and opens the door for a takedown and Eye snaps up that opportunity. A self-inflicted predicament for the No 7-ranked flyweight. 

Eye does not have enough time to make the most of her position as the klaxon sounds.

Eye launches a string of punches at Calderwood from the off and the pair engage in the clinch. The Scot said this week that she feels she has the advantage in the clinch but it is Eye who has the Scot up against the fence, grappling on her terms. 

The pair separate and Calderwood lands a beautiful one-two before connecting with a leg kick to the body. Eye lands a right hand and Calderwood responds with an elbow but the American has her rival where she wants her as he pins her against the fence.

This fight could take place in a phone box, let alone an octagon, with some brutal punches exchanged in the clinch but Eye has Calderwood against the fence once more, which the Scot is struggling to prevent. 

JoJo lands a couple of crisp knees which causes Eye to back off. Calderwood is letting her punches go now and follows up with kicks to the body. 

The klaxon sounds to bring a thrilling opening round to a close.

We’ve got a women’s flyweight bout up next, with America’s Jessica Eye taking on Scotland’s very own Joanne Calderwood. 

The Scot has reaped the rewards of a move to Las Vegas and will hope to put herself in a strong position to challenge for Valentina Shevchenko’s title. 

Not many fighters have the chance at a second bite of the cherry against Conor McGregor, especially those who were beaten as comprehensively as Dustin Poirier was.

But the Louisiana native feels he is in the best shape to defeat the Irishman and shock the world. 

Click HERE to read more.

Sanchez’s corner tells him they think he is behind and he comes out on the front foot once more, but Muradov’s class shows as he continues to hit the target, leaving the American bloodied from the nose.

Muradov lands to the body now before connecting upstairs, with Sanchez’s corner imploring him to keep his hands up. 

But now Muradov lands a huge right hand to leave Sanchez on jelly legs and the Uzbekistani, smelling blood, hunts his prey. He follows up with a huge knee that sends Sanchez to the fence and a flurry of shots are unleashed before the referee steps in to stop the contest. 

Muradov extends his unbeaten steak to 14 wins. He goes over to Dana White and instead of asking for a shot at a big name, he asks for a follow on Instagram!

Sanchez continues to press forward as the second round begins, but Muradov does not look fazed by the forward movement of his opponent. 

The action is paused as Sanchez connects with a kick to the groin. Muradov is good to carry onand Sanchez continues to bounce forward and attempts a takedown but Muradov uses the fence excellently to fend off the American. 

Muradov loads up with a big right hand but Sanchez sees it coming. The Uzbekistani, unfazed, lands a couple of crisp shots to the body before Sanchez responds with a right hand of his own. Muradov launches a left hook followed by a right hand which lands, although he has abandoned his calf kick plan in a bid to get more joy with the hands.

The 10-second warning is sounded and Muradov lands a huge right that sends Sanchez backwards but he covers up as the klaxon sounds. A better round for the American on the whole. 

A cautious opening between the pair, with Sanchez producing lots of feints to disrupt Muradov’s striking set ups. The Uzbekistani has thrown a couple of kicks as he fends off a takedown attempt from Sanchez, before landing a strong right hand up top.

Sanchez’s left calf is already showing signs of damage and redness as Muradov lands a couple of heavy strikes and then enters a clinch against the fence, but Sanchez pushes him off moments later.

Muradov continues to go to work on the front calf as Sanchez marches forward and lands a one-two up top but it doesn’t register cleanly. Now Muradov aims for Sanchez’s body as he looks to slow the American. The unpredictability of his strikes allows him to connect to Sanchez’s head now.

Muradov attempts a flying knee as Sanchez responds with a jab to close the first round.

We’ve got a middleweight clash coming up next as American Andrew Sanchez faces  Makhmud Muradov at 185 pounds. 

Sanchez has won three of his last six fights and faces a tough challenge against the in-form Uzbekistani.

Those around Conor McGregor believe the restrictions imposed amid the coronavirus pandemic have provided the ‘perfect storm’ for McGregor to regain his focus and set his sights back on UFC glory.

That, alongside fatherhood and entering his thirties, have helped mould a more mature athlete.

Click HERE to read more.

Oh my goodness! Marina Rodriguez drops Ribas with a huge shot. Ribas is knelt down on the canvas, and Rodriguez thinks the fight is over but Herb Dean urges her to continue.

Rodriguez returns and clinches with Ribas before landing a huge elbow which put the result beyond doubt as Dean steps in to wave it off.

Huge shock in the first fight of this main card!

Herb Dean begins proceedings and Ribas immediately gets on the front foot, making Rodriguez go backwards in the hope of setting up a takedown. 

Rodriguez stops her countrywoman in her tracks with a crisp one-two, before Ribas lands a takedown of her rival. 

But Rodriguez adapts well to the takedown, tying Ribas up in an awkward position on her side, but she works out of it into full guard and begins working a handful of punches to Rodriguez’s ribs. 

Ribas is looking to posture up and has some joy in landing a couple of big left hands to the grounded Rodriguez, although she needs to be wary of being caught in an arm bar. 

A strong first round for the favourite, Ribas.

Amanda Ribas faces her biggest test in the UFC as she takes on fellow Brazilian Marina Rodriguez at strawweight. 

Ribas is undefeated in her first four UFC bouts and knows a win tonight will put her in the mix for a shot at the title. 

McGregor barely had to break a sweat to get past Poirier when they last met in 2014, but the Irishman is expected to face a sterner test this evening.

And UFC great Georges St-Pierre says McGregor needs to be at his creative striking best to unlock the Diamond tonight.

Click HERE to read more.

Arman Tsarukyan has just defeated Matt Frevola by unanimous decision after a dominant performance to wrap up tonight’s preliminary action and we are about to get under way with the main card.

Stay tuned as we provide live round-by-round updates from each of the five upcoming fights, including the main event – set to kick off at around 5am. 

He comes into this one off the back of a loss to Dustin Poirier, but Dan Hooker is confident he has what it takes to challenge for UFC gold. 

The 30-year-old is confident he has all the tools to be a nightmare for Chandler, having campaigned for a fight with contender Charles Oliveira. 

Conor McGregor conquered Las Vegas and he will look to give Abu Dhabi the same treatment. A star of his stature is used to having the red carpet rolled out for him and the folk on Fight Island have spared no expense for the Irishman. 

Fit with a gym, a play area for his kids and his very own Proper 12 to boot, this is what McGregor’s hotel suite looks like.

Click HERE to read more.

Michael Chandler is in the building as we edge closer to his UFC debut against No 6 contender Dan Hooker. 

The former Bellator lightweight champion wants to prove he is the best lightweight in the world, and there is no better stage to make his case than tonight’s platform.

There can be no question that the UFC would not be the global phenomena it is without the ascension of one Conor McGregor.

But his journey to the bright lights of the UFC was far from simple, having faced a handful of setbacks – including offending Dana White – prior to his debut in 2013.

Click HERE to read more

Brad Tavares has defeated Antonio Carlos Junior by unanimous decision. The middleweight had his Brazilian rival on the back foot for the duration of the 15-minute bout, leaving Carlos Junior with no complaints over the outcome.

With Max Holloway winning last week and Tavares’ victory tonight, it’s been a good week for Hawaiian MMA. 

It is no secret who Conor McGregor wants to fight this year. 

Despite being convincingly defeated by Nurmagomedov in their grudge match over two years ago, McGregor still fancies his chances in his rematch against the Dagestani. The Notorious believes Khabib’s refusal to accept a rematch points to a ‘lack of courage’.

Click HERE to read more.

Dustin Poirier has developed immensely since that defeat to the former two-weight champion, with his game improving immeasurably after moving up to 155 pounds.

However, for all the physical improvement, question marks remain as to whether the 32-year-old has overcome the mental barriers from that defeat, having admitted to McGregor getting in his head before that fight. 

McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, exclusively told Sportsmail he thinks the trauma of that loss still lingers.

Click HERE to read more.

We are two fights into the preliminary card and we have been treated to some great action so far. 

Marcin Prachnio edged a razor-thin decision victory over Khalil Rountree while Julianna Pena has defeated Sara McMann via rear naked choke submission in the third round. 

The Venezuelan 135-pounder has just called out the all-conquering Amanda Nunes in a passionate post-fight interview with Jon Anik.

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He shocked the world in retiring from the sport after comprehensively defeating Justin Gaethje last year, with fans and pundits hopeful that the undefeated Dagestani will come back to take his record to 30 wins, zero defeats.

And Dana White has revealed what it will take to convince Khabib Nurmagomedov to return. 

Click HERE to read more.

And it won’t be the first time the popular referee will oversee a Conor McGregor fight, having been the man between Khabib Nurmagomedov and the Irishman back in October 2018.

Britain’s Marc Goddard will referee the co-main event between Dan Hooker and Michael Chandler.

Dustin Poirier’s incredible run from that defeat at UFC 178 to tonight’s fight has been well documented, but the Louisiana native has had to graft for his spot at the top.

From reality TV hopeful to UFC star, this is the Diamond’s journey.

Click HERE to read more.

He has retired on no fewer than three occasions in the last four years, but Conor McGregor has boldly claimed he will fight for a ‘long, long time’ in the UFC.

Click HERE to read more.

Last time these two met, it ended in no time as McGregor marched through Poirier on his way to the featherweight title. 

The Irishman has vowed to finish his opponent in just 60 seconds this time around, though admitted he would enjoy a ‘war’ with the No 2 contender.

Click HERE to read more.

The early pre-lims have just taken place, and we are about to get under way with the preliminary fights.

Main card

Poirier v McGregor

Hooker v Chandler

Eye v Calderwood

Sanchez v Muradov

Rodriguez v Ribas

Prelim card

Tsarukyan v Haqparast

Tavares v Carlos Jr

Pena v McMann

Rountree Jr v Prachnio

Well, it’s finally here. After just over a year out of the octagon, Conor McGregor is back as he looks to return to the top of the lightweight division. 

Standing in his way is Dustin Poirier, who has come on leaps and bounds since he lost to the Notorious at UFC 178 back in 2014. 

Stay tuned as we will have live round-by-round coverage of UFC 257’s main event from Fight Island, set to begin in around four hours time. 

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